Phils draft catcher Bossart out of Penn
PHILADELPHIA -- Austin Bossart made Philadelphia his home for the past four years, and he hopes to make it his home again in the future.
He has a chance. The Phillies on Wednesday selected Bossart, a senior catcher from Penn, in the 14th round (414th pick overall) of the 2015 Draft. He is the first Penn player drafted since 2012, when the Athletics selected right-hander Vince Voiro in the 15th round.
"It was a little bit of a surprise," Bossart said in a telephone interview on Wednesday evening from his home in O'Fallon, Ill. "I was very happy to have my name called by them. I've been in Philly, I've been to a few games [at Citizens Bank Park], and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Bossart hopes to become the first Quakers player to make the big leagues since Mark DeRosa (1998-2013) and Doug Glanville (1996-2004).
"They were two really, really great players," Bossart said. "I hope to have a career like they did."
Bossart earned co-Ivy League Player of the Year and Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year honors following a strong senior season. He hit .358 with 13 doubles, four home runs, 27 RBIs, a .420 on-base percentage and a .540 slugging percentage. He walked 13 times and struck out 18 times. Behind the plate, he did not commit an error, and he threw out 53 percent of attempted basestealers.
He was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award.
"I've always considered myself more of a defensive player first," he said. "I've improved offensively year after year. I've been very happy with that. This year I went in with the mentality of being a professional baseball player, so I sat down at the beginning of the year and said I'm going to take a professional approach to everything. It really seemed to work out for me."
"I'm excited for Austin to get this opportunity," Penn coach John Yurkow said in a statement. "He is maybe the best leader I've seen during my time coaching college baseball. Knowing his skill set both offensively and defensively, I think Austin is a solid addition to the Phillies' system."
One scout had told MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo that Bossart would be a nice Day 2 selection, but he slipped to Day 3.
That could be to the Phillies' benefit.
"I didn't really hear anything from the Phillies throughout the season," Bossart said. "Then I sent them a little bit on information late in the year. I hadn't heard anything from them until this morning when [area scout Paul Murphy] told me to give him a call. He said he really liked me and he was going to throw my name in the mix. And before you know it, the Phillies had me."
Bossart is eager to get started.
"I went to Penn with baseball on my mind from Day 1," said Bossart, who majored in economics. "That's what I've always wanted to do since high school. Education was always a big thing for me, so it gave me the best of both worlds. But I've always had baseball on my mind."